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Czech Republic May Regulate Online Casino Gambling

The recent decision made by the Czech Republic’s government to legalize sports betting has been met with enthusiasm by online casino fans. Many gamblers now believe that if sports betting in the country is permitted, legal gaming at online casinos can’t be too far behind. Currently all forms of online casino gambling are illegal; however analysts point out that the taxation revenue the government will now earn from sports betting firms will only whet its appetite further.

The decision to legalize sports betting was made in an attempt to benefit from the lucrative taxation revenues betting firms operating in the country will provide. The Republic’s Finance Ministry was the major proponent of the move, stating that legislation amendments “…should be worked out by mid-2006 at the latest.” While this means that Czech football fans will be able to bet online during the next World Cup, a strict ban will remain on online casino gaming. Several online casino industry officials have voiced concerns that the new regulations will block foreign sports betting companies from operating in the country, but the ministry has only stated to date that it will not make online casinos legal.

The Ministry originally banned Czech companies from creating online casinos in an effort to guard against underage gambling. However, in recent years, a host of international online casino firms have answered the call from Czech gamblers, providing web sites written in Czech to appeal to the local market. Some firms have even advertised their services within the Czech Republic, despite the country’s ban on online casino advertising.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.